We call ourselves the dream makers, the curiosity protectors, the people who will change education from within. We see ourselves as open-minded, always willing to change, and always looking to do what is best for students. We come to school on those first few days with dreams spilling out of our arms. New ideas floating around our heads as we dream of the possibilities. As we eagerly embark on a new journey.
Yet a few weeks in and our arms seem to be empty. The dreams gone, reality set in, and we think, “Well, maybe next year will be the year we change education, maybe next year these dreams will work.”
We can blame politicians for crushing our dreams. Sometimes we can even blame administration. But more often than not the blame lies within our own communities, our own teams, and ourselves. After all, how quick are we to dismiss the dreams of others before we even hear them out? How often do we think that we know better than someone else? How often do we make it a point to share just why something will not work. Yet, we get upset when someone dares to tell us that our dream is impossible, that our idea will never work, but forget that we say those some words to others.
We are so quick to tsk tsk other people’s new ideas. We are so quick to jump in with our own opinions, to share our own better ideas. To not truly listen because in our minds we have already decided that that idea will never work. We are so quick to burst the fragile bubbles of hope that we all bring back at the beginning of a new year. As if bringing someone down to Earth is a good thing.
And we can blame society. We can blame standardized testing. We can blame the Common Core. Or we can take responsibility for how we speak to others. For how we judge. For how quickly we dismiss. We can stop crushing the dreams of others.
Schools starts in 10 days. I will not be a dream crusher anymore. I will not be the one that says that something cannot work. I will not be the one that discourages others. Instead, I will be the one that says, “How can I help?” What will you be?
If you like what you read here, consider reading my book Passionate Learners – How to Engage and Empower Your Students. The 2nd edition and actual book-book (not just e-book!) comes out September 22nd from Routledge.